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Special Event

President Clinton Delivers Remarks on Equal Pay Initiative

Aired January 24, 2000 - 11:43 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We take you live now to Washington, D.C., where President Clinton is speaking. He is seeking $27 million to help close the earnings gap between men and women and beef up enforcement of equal pay laws. A proposal like this has failed in Congress. We will go ahead and listen to the president.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... and she's now working with General McCaffrey and the Olympics Committee to try to make sure that the Olympics in Sydney and all future Olympics are properly conducted in every conceivable way.

Thank you very much for being here. We're delighted to see you.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to thank Michelle Akers for coming here and telling the story of her life and her family's. They -- I think all of us who saw the Women's World Cup final -- and I had the privilege of being there, much to the dismay of my wife and daughter, I had the privilege of going...

(LAUGHTER)

... were truly overwhelmed by the experience. It was one of those just excruciatingly exciting moments. Grown people were -- of both genders -- were weeping in our group.

And afterward you may remember that Michelle took quite a blow and was hurt, and I saw her walking through the stadium after the game, and I went up to her and I said, "You're my favorite because you can take a punch, and I know something about that."

(LAUGHTER)

And so, I am delighted that she was able to come here and be with us today, and delighted that she has both continued to fight for the interests of women athletes and never forgotten about the experience of her own mother.

You heard Michelle talking about the role of Title IX. Whenever something really magnificent happens like that World Cup final it's a tribute to -- it's not just a moment. In that moment you see years and years and years of hard work and determination and victory and disappointment. All the things people go through that is all lost in the glory of the moment. And something no one ever thinks about is how did these people get this opportunity, what kind of framework was there so that they got to develop their talents and live their dreams, and that's what Title IX is all about.

And we have had the honor, Hillary and I have, of having big events here at the White House to celebrate Title IX and that wonderful HBO series in the history of women in sports, which I hope you've all seen. If you haven't, you ought to make arrangements to do so.

KAGAN: We have been listening a bit to President Clinton. He is at an event today where he is going to propose $27 million to try to bridge the wage disparity between men and women. Women currently earning about 75 cents on every dollar that a man earns. He was making reference to Michelle Akers, who is a U.S. soccer star who was there

The U.S. women's soccer team, if you are not familiar, is boycotting training right now because they are not happy with the amount of training stipend they are being paid compared to what men make in a similar type job. So she was asked to go ahead and speak at that event as well.

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